Top Scams in Singapore 2023 : What are they and how to prevent them - - Singapore Wacky Digital Underground Outpost

Top Scams in Singapore 2023 : What are they and how to prevent them


What are the Top scams in Singapore?

As of Sep 2023, Scam Alert has identified the Top 5 ongoing scams in Singapore.

E-Commerce Scams 

See a good deal for the hottest concert tickets or the latest iPhone. When you see a deal that is too good to be true, it usually is so. E-commerce scams are also known as online purchase scams.

How it works

E-commerce scams usually begin with an advertisement that is too good to be true. Usually, the sellers will require you to transfer payment first prior to delivery of the item. At times, the seller may ask for more payment for duties or delivery charges. After payment, they will usually disappear. 

Another variant is to ask you to download an app to make the purchase. Using the app, they will steal your bank details and withdraw funds without your knowledge.

How to avoid E-Commerce Scams

  • Be wary of good deals, and look out for a lack of information and sellers who try to take the conversation off the platform.
  • Insist on cash on delivery.
  • Some platforms allow you to transact within the platform. Use that when possible.
  • Choose reputable sellers or shopping platforms for high-valued items.

Job Scams

Got an unsolicited job offer via whatsapp? Promised high salary with little time committed? Asked t join affiliate marketing, where you pay for products in advance to boost the sales of sellers in return for commissions? 

You might be in a job scam trap where fake jobs are offered,

How it works

These job scams often require you to process funds transfer on your bank account, then transfer the money through online banking or money transfer services such as Western Union or MonGram. You might also need to reveal details like name, id card number, phone security and even OTP. 

These jobs often require you to make payment first and this is a big RED FLAG.

How to Avoid Job Scams

  • Do not respond to dubious job offers.
  • Do not allow others to use your bank account.
  • Do not download unverified apps for application
  • Do not pay to secure a job.

Fake Friend Scam Call

Long time no hear from you. How are you?

Often, when you hear a friendly voice on the phone like this, you tend to lose guard. The voice may or may not sound familiar, and they would often claim to be a long lost friend.

How it works

The scammer will pretend to be your friend and would often trick you to identify them. Once that is done, they will impersonate the person and claim that they had lost their phones and thus have a different number. After gaining your trust, they will talk about failed business or other similar ruse and ask you to 'help' them out with money.

How to Avoid Fake Friend Scam Calls

  • Avoid picking up calls, especially those with overseas number
  • Do not give anyone confidential information.
  • Hang up if the person does not identify themselves immediately.
  • Do not click on links of unsolicited messages.

Phishing Scam

Download an app for a great deal. Bank staff calling you from a handphone to let you know that there is a suspicious transaction. Receive a message to claim that you win a prize or your account is compromised with a link to click to rectify.

If any of the above sounds family, you are in a Phishing Scam 

How it works

You will get unsolicited phone calls from 'bank staff' , and' employment service'. Sometimes, you will see an ad on the Facebook marketplace that promises you a great deal for a purchase, but the purchase has to be done on a separate app. These are phishing scams where scammers will attempt to extract personal information such as bank accounts or OTP to take over your bank accounts.

How to Avoid Phishing Scams

  • Be careful on picking up numbers with a + in front.
  • Do not give anyone confidential information if calls are unsolicited.
  • Identify the caller and hang up if there are doubts. Call back the main source to verify such callers.
  • Do not click on any links.
  • Do not download any apps.

Investment Scam

Investment scammers will entice you with high returns with low risk. Most of the time, they are from platforms or entities based outside of Singapore and have no license to deal in Singapore.

How it works

You received a message form someone claiming to be a financial company on social network sites such as Facebook or WeChat. They will ask for personal details like NRIC or passport for investment form. You will be asked to transfer money to banks in HK or China. When profits are 'made' , you will be asked to pay administrative fees to receive it. At the end of the day, you will not even get your money back.

How to Avoid Investment Scam

  • Do your own check. Always check if the person or entity you are dealing with is a licensed financial advisor. The list can be found at
  • Investment promises high returns with low risks are usually fraud.
  • Avoid befriending strangers on social media platforms to make you rich.
Tens of thousands have fallen to these scams in the past year alone. Do be wary when it comes to things that are too good to be true.

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